Crofton is the name of a boarding school which takes in boys aged from
eight to perhaps thirteen. Such a school is known in the UK as a Prep
School, and it is normal for well-bred boys to attend such a school, as
I and my brothers all did.
Hugh is packed off to school from his comfortable home in the Strand,
London. His older brother is already at the school, and can give him
some guidance, but on the whole he is on his own. Boys can be very
cruel to one another, and Hugh gets his fair share of the bullying, the
fights, the unfair masters, and the small squabbles over borrowed money.
One day in the playground there is an episode which little Hugh tries to
escape from by climbing over a wall. He is pulled back, and the very
heavy loose coping stone on the top of the wall falls from onto his
foot, crushing it so badly that it has to be amputated. That's about
half-way through the book.
How Hugh endures the operation, recovers, and rebuilds his life with the
other boys at school, his family relations and the school staff takes up
the rest of the book, which is well and sensitively written, coming as it
does from a talented authoress who is no stranger to personal problems.
Harriet Martineau, 1802-1876
English writer, sister of James Martineau, born in Norwich, the daughter of a textile manufacturer of Huguenot descent. In 1821 she wrote her first article for the (unitarian) Monthly Repository; and then produced Devotional Exercises for the Use of Young Persons (1826), and short stories about machinery and wages. Her next book was Addresses for the Use of Families (1826). In 1829 the failure of the house in which she, her mother, and her sisters had placed their money, obliged her to earn her living. In 1832 she became a successful author through writing tales based on economic or legal ideas, in Illustrations of Political Economy, followed by Poor Laws and Paupers Illustrated (1833-34), and settled in London. After a visit to the U.S.A. (1834-36) she published Society in America, and a novel Deerbrook in 1839, and a second novel The Hour and the Man about Toussaint lâOuverture. From 1839 to 1844 she was an invalid at Tynemouth, but recovered through mesmerism, (her subsequent belief in which alienated many friends), and made her home at Ambleside in 1845, the year of Forest and Game-law Tales. After visiting Egypt and Palestine she issued Eastern Life (1848). In 1851, in conjunction with H G Atkinson she published Letters on the Laws of Manâs Social Nature which was so agnostic that it gave much offence; and in 1853 she translated and condensed Comteâs Philosophie Positive. She also wrote much for the daily and weekly press and the larger reviews.
Taken with acknowledgement from the 1990 Chamberâs Biographical Dictionary.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk
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